Strengthening the Posterior Cuff with “Ball Decelerations” (Softball Tip #4)

By Nunzio Signore (B.A. CPT, NASM, FMS, PES)

In today’s post we are covering strength and conditioning tip #4 for softball players. In case you missed #3 please click here.

Blog 4-1Throwing, whether it is overhand or underhand, is one of the single most stressful activities in sports in terms of stress placed on the shoulder joint.

Coaches spend countless hours working on technique but very little (if any) focus is placed on strength training to combat that stress.

The common recipient of this stress is the rotator cuff. The 4 main muscles that strengthen and stabilize the cuff are the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor. If any of these muscles become weak or imbalanced, major motions of the shoulder become compromised.

Blog 4-2

I once heard a statement that “throwing a ball is basically like throwing your arm away from your body”. It is primarily the external rotators, the infraspinatus and teres minor in the back of the shoulder (posterior cuff) that are responsible for “putting on the brakes” or in other words slowing down the arm after ball release. These are a major focal point in our cuff work at RPP. Strengthening the posterior cuff helps prevent the arm from stopping suddenly and creating a “bang” on the shoulder after ball release.

Ball decelerations are a great drill to strengthen these muscles and our athletes love doing them.  Check out Suffern High School and Akadema Elite’s Gabby Caccamo in the video below:


Please be sure to visit our Elite Softball page by clicking here.  The off-season is here and it is time to get strong.